Leader Blues

Friday, April 11, 2008

SPORTS >>Rain-ruled at Dupree

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

It counts as a loss, but the Jacksonville Lady Red Devils never got to complete their turn at bat in the bottom of the sixth inning on Tuesday at Dupree Park during a 2-0 decision to Marion.

Moderate rain throughout the game made conditions less than desirable for both teams, and turned the field from soggy but manageable in the first inning into a virtual quarter-acre mud puddle by the time the umpires called the game for approaching lightning.

The rain was peppery when it first hit the Lady Devils’ field moments into the second inning, but increased steadily as the game went on.

Marion scored runs in the second and fourth innings. Lady Patriots pitcher Chance Brown also led a strong defensive front for the visitors, giving up only one hit through five innings, along with three walks.

Brown’s contributions extended to the plate as well. She drove in both of the Lady Patriots’ runs in the contest, and recorded one of the two Marion hits.

Junior third baseman Paula Burr was the only Lady Red Devil to get a hit off of Brown, reaching on a bunt single in the bottom of the fifth inning. She advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Alexis Oakley, but a fly out to shallow center left her stranded.

Bailee Herlacher was the only other Lady Red Devil to get into scoring position during the game. Brown started the bottom of the third inning with strikeouts on Oakley and Taylor Norsworthy before walking Herlacher. The sophomore standout stole second and reached third on a throwing error by the Marion catcher.

Jacksonville sophomore pitcher Jessica Lanier had a solid game on Tuesday. Lanier gave up only two hits and two walks through six innings. She struggled to find the strike zone early, but settled down by the third inning.

The first Marion score derived from a Jacksonville error in the second. Amber Harrison reached on a throwing error, eventually coming around to score. An error also contributed to the second Marion run in the fourth. A run-scoring sacrifice fly followed a walk and an error.

One of the few highlights for the Lady Devils came when catcher Raven Pickett gunned down Kristen Stokes trying to steal second.

Herlacher reached on a walk to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning before the rumble of thunder edged closer to Dupree, and officials waved it off before Jennifer Bock had the chance to make her third trip to the plate.

Burr was 1 of 2 with a single to lead Jacksonville.

Lanier walked two and gave up two hits while striking out four. Brown took the win for Marion with one hit allowed, along with four walks and eight strikeouts.

Thursday’s rematch at Marion was cancelled due to rain.